(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 3469

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3469. And Esau was a son of forty years. That this signifies a state of temptation as to the natural good of truth, is evident from the representation of Esau, as being the natural good of truth (n. 3300, 3302, 3322); and from the signification of "forty years," as being states of temptation. (That "forty" signifies temptations may be seen above, n. 730, 862, 2272; and that "years" signify states, n. 487, 488, 493, 893.) The reason why these things concerning Esau are joined to what has been related concerning Abimelech and Isaac, is that those are treated of who are in the good of truth, that is, who are in life according to things that are derived from the literal sense of the Word; for these are signified by "Abimelech, Ahuzzath, and Phicol," as before repeatedly said.
[2] They therefore who are in the good of truth, or in a life according to doctrinal things, are regenerate as to the interiors, which are their rational, but not yet as to the exteriors, which are their natural things; for man is regenerated as to the rational before he is regenerated as to the natural (n. 3286, 3288); because the natural is altogether in the world, and in the natural as in a plane there are founded man's thought and will. This is the reason why during regeneration man observes a combat between his rational or internal man and his natural or external man; and why his external man is regenerated much later, and likewise with much greater difficulty, than his internal man. For that which is nearer to the world and nearer to the body cannot be easily constrained to render obedience to the internal man; but only after considerable length of time and by means of many new states into which the man is introduced, which are states of self-acknowledgment, and of acknowledgment of the Lord, that is, of one's own wretchedness, and of the Lord's mercy; thus states of humiliation resulting from temptation combats. Because this is so, there is here next adjoined what is said of Esau and his two wives, whereby such things are signified in the internal sense.
[3] Everyone knows what natural good is, namely, that it is the good into which man is born; but what the natural good of truth is, is known to few, if any. There are four kinds of natural good, that is, of the good that is born with man, namely, natural good from the love of good, natural good from the love of truth, and also natural good from the love of evil, and natural good from the love of falsity. For the good into which man is born he derives from his parents, either father or mother; for all that which parents have contracted by frequent use and habit, or have become imbued with by actual life until it has become so familiar to them that it appears as if natural, is transmitted into their children, and becomes hereditary. If parents who have lived in the good of the love of good and in this life have perceived their delight and blessedness, conceive offspring in this state, the offspring receive therefrom an inclination to similar good; and if parents who have lived in the good of the love of truth (concerning which good see n. 3459, 3463) and in this life have perceived their delight, are in this state when they conceive offspring, the offspring receive therefrom an inclination to the like good.
[4] The case is similar with those who receive hereditarily the good of the love of evil and the good of the love of what is false. These latter are called goods by reason of their appearing in outward form as goods in those persons in whom they are, although they are the very reverse of goods. Very many in whom natural good appears have such good. They who are in the natural good of the love of evil are pliant and prone to evils of every kind; for they suffer themselves to be easily led astray, and from this good are compliant, especially to foul pleasures, to adulteries, and also to cruelties; and they who are in the natural good of falsity are prone to falsities of every kind, and from this good learn with avidity what is persuasive, especially from hypocrites and cunning persons, who know how to captivate the mind, to insinuate themselves into the affections, and to feign innocence. At the present day most people who in the Christian world are in natural good, are born into these so-called goods of evil and falsity, because their parents have by actual life contracted the delight of evil and of falsity, and thus have implanted it in their children, and thereby in their descendants.


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